The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating by David M. Buss
“While love is common, true love is rare, and I believe that few people are fortunate enough to experience it. The roads of regular love are well travelled and their markers are well understood by many – the mesmerizing attraction, the idealization obsession, the sexual afterglow, the profound self-sacrifice, and the desire to combine DNA. But true love takes its own course through uncharted territory. It knows no fences, eludes modern measurement, and seems scientifically woolly. But I know true love exists. I just can’t prove it.” David Buss
This is a really cool read! I went into it with kind of the wrong expectations but didn’t find myself disappointed. It is a book about the evolution of desire but not ‘desire’ in the general sense but rather the desire of the sexes and for matting and mateship (companionship).
His work highlights the intricacies of relationships between men and women in an evolutionary and biological sense and the strategies of human mating.
Sometimes I was left wondering if the conclusions made are just convenient facts about the nature of men and women or if there is an evolutionary factual reason for the existence of such desires. However, a lot of the evidence that he draws upon and even the assumptions that he concludes did make clear and logical sense. They also kept me intrigued the entire way through.
He begins the book with an outline of women’s needs and desires and why they exist and then men’s needs and desires. If you are looking to better understand and gain clarity around the opposite sex, this is a beneficial place to go.
I found myself nodding in agreement with most of the insights that he shares but what I was unfamiliar with, in most part, was why they exist. It’s the kind of information I find fascinating.
I often wonder what drives women’s thought processes and behaviour and even what drives my own and the likes of men. Because at the end of the day we seem to be very different in our approach to life.
The thing is that these differences in needs and desires haven’t just sprung out of nowhere. No! They exist out of the dependency we have for one another to survive and reproduce. The ultimate purpose of life as far as I can gather. And with this purpose so have we formed and evolved with desires designed to get the best out of relationships for us to most effectively meet these needs.
It is too easy for us to point the finger the weaknesses or problems we see in the opposite sex. The author highlights this in his research. Besides of the interesting facts and reasons for our desires what I walked away to ponder on most was the fact that men and women are the way we are because of our dependent need for each other.
You see, perhaps men wouldn’t be like men are if we didn’t desire to attract women for the purpose to mate and survive and neither would women exist as they are. Our desires and seemingly innate sexual qualities are as they are because of our wish to attract a suitable mate for breeding and survival.
To put this in better context, I will use an example from the book. If you look at men’s behaviours, you could easily see them as being individualist, egotistical, goal driven, achievement focused, money hungry, war mongering dicks that for most of the time seem guided by their cocks. Obviously, that is a comprehensive and controversial statement, but I wish to highlight a point.
Why do men act in this regard? The ultimate goal of men is the same as women, yet we aren’t likely to classify women in such a manner. What kind of traits do you attach to the woman’s nature? Caring, motherhood, beauty, emotional, etc. One might argue the image of the modern women is changing but so are the evolutions of our desires and even the stereotypical nature of men. But what are the reasons for our fundamental differences?
Ultimately it boils down to the need to attract the opposite sex for survival and reproduction. The better the mate, the better we can meet these requirements. And how do we attract the best mate but by meeting their fundamental needs?
Men who are better connected and with greater resources are more able to keep and protect women and as women are responsible for giving birth and typically raising the children. Men that can provide the resources to support women with security and the opportunity to nature and raise kids without a struggle, win the better mate. Hence men’s desire for achievement and every expanding need of resources.
And how to women attract these men, well apart from the obvious, beauty and an attractive personality they also benefit from being seen as nurturing, compassionate and supportive and encouraging.
The author goes into much greater detail in his book. However, I hope I’ve made my point. We are the way we are because of our dependent need for one another for the purpose of survival.
There is so much in this book. Research and studies that are fascinating. I left feeling a heightened sense of respect for the sexes and an understanding that men, women, and people of all races are not at all different – we all have the same goals in life. We are all united in our purpose, and for this reason, we need to look beyond our difference to a deeper level of understanding. In this way may we better co-exist and continue the survival of our species. Books like this help improve our understanding for one another.
If this book sounds of interest you can purchase The Evolution of Desire here.
Please leave your thoughts, comments & questions below.
Peace, passion, and purpose…
Other books that you may enjoy…
Further Reading and Resources